What are the signs that this person isn’t connecting to their themes? Does this person not connect with any of the top 5 themes? Or is it more like one or 2?
After working with thousands of people the debated outcome is that Strength Themes are extremely accurate. If you have worked through all the following and the person still is not finding their results to be accurate, then I would suggest retaking it. Here are a few suggestions to try if someone is not connecting to their themes.
- First, try explaining what the themes are. They are patterns of feelings, thoughts and behaviors. What’s a pattern? Well, if something happens 1 time, it’s an event. But if the event happens over and over, then it’s a pattern. For example, if you have an old rug or carpet, you can see the traffic pattern worn into it. If someone walked across it 1 time, it wouldn’t leave a worn pattern. But, if overtime people walk from the living room to the front door then...
The purpose of this article is to provide one of the best ways I’ve found to use your talents to improve communication and relationships. It started with six simple words.
I sent an email to Terrie, one of my closest collaborators. I wanted her to evaluate web application that I thought could be useful for our youth program. So, I sent her an email with a link to the website and a note that said “Look this over and let me know what you think.”
Terrie was not convinced the web application would be useful. Instead of giving me her reasons for why she felt that way, she simply said “Help me see what you see.”
This prompted a powerful moment of self awareness about my themes, particularly my #1 theme of Strategic. It took me a few seconds to see how the web application would be useful, but it took me 20 minutes to type out an email to Terrie explaining my reasoning. It was much easier for me to just say “Hey, look this over and tell me what you...
“Positive” does not necessarily mean “warm fuzzies” or “touchy/feely.” It can also be interpreted in a mathematical sense. A positive number is one that is greater than zero. If I have five apples and someone stole four of them, I would still have a positive number even though something negative happened. From an economic perspective, positive means that the results produced from a course of action are greater than the resources invested. In psychology, positive means forward-moving growth and development for the individual. This is not always a “feel good,” rose-tinted experience.
To the contrary, positive growth often involves tackling negative experiences head-on in order to move forward. Positive means employing advantages at our disposal to overcome adversity, and attack problems where from where we are strongest. Operating under traditional psychology, someone dealing with loss of a loved one or a traumatic experience might start...
The building blocks that define Talent2Strength and Positive Leadership originate in the field of Positive Psychology. There is a focus on finding the common understanding of the “positive” aspect in Positive Psychology. The field of psychology has three missions: 1) Cure mental illness 2) Make the lives of all people more productive and fulfilling 3) Identify and nurture talent.
In the past, after World War II, there was a shift toward a concentrated focus on treating mental illness that while absolutely important, detracted somewhat from the missions of making people’s lives better and fostering human talents. This primary focus on mental illness persisted over the next 50 years with occasional advances in the second and third missions (Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi, January 2000).
In 1998, a challenge was issued by the president of the American Psychological Association (APA), Martin Seligman and a group of his colleagues. Seligman’s speech to the APA...
What is the connection between being happy and our talents? Our talents can provide insight to what truly makes us happy.
Happiness is one of the central themes of Positive Psychology—a branch of psychology that’s exploded over the last two decades. Until studying Positive Psychology, happiness was a vague concept and had preconceived notions that happy people were the ones who were always smiling and giddy—two traits that would not describe me, for example.
Positive psychology helped expand my understanding of happiness to include other qualities: serenity, sense of fulfillment, and curiosity to name a few. While I couldn’t relate to smiling and giddiness, I could certainly relate to these three. It wasn’t long before I realized how to expand my definition of happiness.
Researcher Sonja Lyubomisrky, author of The How of Happiness, describes the happiness pie
She offers a formula: A person’s happiness = their happiness set point, + life...
Successful strengths coaching can be summed up as “the transition from contrast to alignment.” One of the most universally applicable tools in our work is based upon my observations of 20 years consulting to various organizations which boiled down to one fundamental concept: There was some degree of tension between the ways things were and the desired vision for the way things should be; and my word for that is “contrast.”
Now, contrast goes by many names: drama, discord, stress, anxiety. The causes vary but the experience of contrast is universal. It is characterized by negative emotions. It’s our hard wired way of knowing when there is contrast. The problem is that negative emotions warp our vision so we do not see clearly. While this is true, contrast provides information we cannot otherwise gain. The realization of what it is we want. If only we could suspend the tumult caused by negative emotions long enough to ask one question: If this is what I...
Recently, I watched Hear My Train a Comin', a documentary about the life and career of rock'n'roll great Jimi Hendrix. In this film, we meet two Jimi Hendrixes. The first is one most of us may know--a master of the guitar who exuded dazzling stage presence. The second, less-known version is the incredibly shy, introverted Jimi. To two versions seem nearly impossible to reconcile, but not quite.
Jimi was unnaturally obsessed with making music, and obsession would be an understatement. He cared about nothing else. He would almost never be seen without his guitar. This explains his prowess; playing the guitar behind his head or with his teeth were just two feats he regularly displayed. He fanned the spark of interest in music to a single-minded preoccupation; and occupation; and legacy. Jimi Hendrix forever shaped the world of modern music.
The first Jimi was the embodiment of supreme confidence. The second Jimi would hardly be distinguishable from a person on the street (aside from...
In any activities, we are all at different levels of performance. We know that one level of performance is strength—performing the activity consistently and near perfectly. But, if something is not at the level of strength, then what would we call it? CliftonStrengths© doesn’t provide for other levels of performance in an activity since its scope is themes of talent. So how can we measure the potential for strength in an activity?
To address this gap, I’ve have adapted a model that I learned while studying under an anthropologist turned business coach named Marsha Shenk.
It makes the most sense if we start from the bottom of the ladder and work our way up. Also, you can apply this ladder to rate your performance in every activity. And then use the strength formula to apply your talents, knowledge, and skill to improve your performance in the activities you wish to develop.
For any activity, there is always a time before we learn the...
The Alignment Meter is one of the most powerful tools of Talent2Strength. It measures thriving (alignment) and suffering (contrast) in our experience. This helps us identify, actively shape, and communicate with others as we measure our levels of contrast and alignment in a given activity. Our state of being is always evolving due to the variety of our lived experiences. Below is an illustrated interpretation of our model. The full model and activities that go with it are part of our curriculum. But you don’t need the full model to get value from it and apply it to your life.
The meter is like a speedometer that measures from 0-100. All of us have this meter inside of us. At any moment we know where we are on the Alignment Meter if we take a moment to orient to our thoughts and feelings.
I know if I’m suffering (0-25), if I’m doing something that I just find miserable, I feel weak, and I feel drained. If I wasn’t forced to do it I probably...
What’s at stake here?
We already covered much of what is at stake. In business, the profit, professional satisfaction, and income is at stake. In non-profits, effective use of limited resources to improve quality of life is at stake. In families, where people are criticized instead of encouraged, we weaken the social fabric.
Proper application, in all of these arenas, allows us to enhance the social benefit. For example, in the non-profit world, where resources are often limited, not trying to be everything to everybody (not playing to their strengths) but rather narrowing the focus and playing to people’s strengths will allow them to make a bigger impact in peoples lives.
In schools, the potential for human development is impeded by an outdated educational system that teaches to a test-which is not everyone’s measure of ability. We’re all different, fundamentally we are created differently, which is at least one of the lessons of CliftonStrengths© . Yet...
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